Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Story: Dreams Do Come True For Ambitious Little Girls!

Above: My 1970 letter to "Santa Clouse" (was spelling it the way my father said it) and me dressed as Santa for my niece when I was 11 years old...

You tell me, is this a tale about dreams, fate, or serendipity?

I thought I’d get you in the holiday mood with a funny little story from my childhood. I was raised in a Methodist family, so the concept of Santa was everywhere in our holiday season. Of course, like other children from the 60s/70s, I grew up on Bing Crosby Christmas specials, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” He was the American Idol back then!

One particular Christmas when I was 8, I told my mother I was going to marry Santa. Well, actually, I bragged. I thought for sure I’d make a good wife and partner for the man who gave toys to children all over the world. I loved cold weather, that was big plus. I was certain I could bake enough cookies for all the elves. And, I loved sleighs and reindeer (must be in my Laplander blood).

My mother just laughed at my “nonsense.”

I proceeded with this bold statement,“I’m going to be Mrs. Claus. Just wait and see!”

Fastforward 13 years on my wedding day March 2, 1984. As we’re being announced, I heard “I present, Mr. and Mrs. Clauss.”

Yes, I did marry a Clauss. I think the lesson is specificity. I said I was going to be "Mrs. Claus," but I didn't mention I wanted the jelly-bellied guy who lived in the cold climate. Instead, I found an athletically built man who adored the desert. There was no making of toys for children, but he did have a mean electronic workbench where he designed his own amplifiers and speakers. No sleigh, but he did have a red Camaro. But, I did get the bragging rights of being “Mrs. S. Clauss.” Something that I get ribbing about every December when I sign receipts in the stores.

When our son was a little boy, he'd be kind of down at Christmastime because kids at school would bug him about his name (thank heavens I didn’t name him “Sandy” like I was kidding I’d do). I told him to tell the kids, “That’s my grandpa, you better not be mean.” It worked every time. Well, he left the cookies for Santa on Christmas and a tired Mrs. Clauss was assembling his Lego castle to put under the tree. Exhausted, I put the cookies back into the bin and drank down the milk and left a thank you note. Santa is a polite fellow. I signed it “Santa Clauss” by force of habit. Yikes! I woke up the next morning realizing it and raced out to the living room. My son was waving the note around and laughing. “Look mom! He signed it Santa Clauss. He was using my name as a joke.”

What a relief!

Yeah, it’s not easy being Mrs. Clauss, but I do hope to live up to the name by embracing the holiday season and being the best cookie baker and gift-giver in the desert.


  1. I love this story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Wonderful post! The story of your son is priceless! I knew you were special Mrs. Clauss! Did I spell that right? Well if I didn't you know what I mean.:)

  3. Mary and Becca;
    Thanks so much! Yeah, it's Clauss. Thank goodness! I can't imagine the ribbing if it were Claus. :-)

  4. I was going to do a post about notes my daughter wrote. So I obviously love this post.

    I dunno.... I might have named my child Sandy or Chris.....just think how nice the other kids would have been!

  5. @eloh;
    Yeah, Chris was actually my favorite name until I realized how that would sound with Clauss. I ended up naming him Alex for the rock drummer from Van Halen (and he ended up playing drums). He told me the other day he wanted to name his son some day "Bjorn Sten Clauss" (Sten was my Norwegian father's name). It sounded so cool, but then I do recall Bjorn means "bear," if I recall right, which means he'd be naming his kid "Bear Clauss." Hee hee

  6. Thanks for the sweet story of your childhood, Mrs. Clauss. Love the story about Alex too, ho ho ho!

  7. Julie;
    Thanks. As you can see, I finally got the hang of spelling words since I was 8. It's hilarious to read that now. Couldn't spell Christmas or Pant suit or Claus. Hee hee

  8. Oooh! What a cute story! I guess you showed your mom, huh?

  9. I met a lady once named Carol Christmas. So in a last name first situation, she'd be Christmas Carol. I think it was her married name...but get this...her birthday was December 25th!! Seriously!

    What are the odds of that?!

  10. Jeff, that's hilarious! I went to high school with a "Candy Cain" and she was born on Xmas day too. I guess with a last name like that an a b-day then, you just have to do it! My son was actually born on the date of Einstein's death and was in gifted programs is whole life, so I called him "Albert" instead of Alex.

  11. how cool is that! it all starts with a thought

  12. What a great story Autumnforest!! You did indeed become "Mrs Claus"/Clauss!!
    Fate/synchronicity and serendipity all tied together -this is a fantastic Christmas type post!!
    and I am so glad you didn't name your son "Sandy" lol:-)
    all the best to you my friend!!